MOUNT CARROLL – Timber Lake Playhouse, which is in the middle of a major expansion project, is canceling its 2020 season because of the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, the theater company announced today.
“Next week, we would have celebrated the world premiere of 'What a Wonderful World',” Dan Danielowski, executive director of TLP, said in a news release. “To have to make this decision is very disappointing to all of us.”
The Restore Illinois Phase 4 guidelines limit gatherings to 50 people.
“Not only is it tough to play to 50 people in a 400-seat theater, we have already pre-sold more than double the number of tickets that we could allow in the theatre per production,” Danielowski said.
More than 50 company members had to be released from their contracts.
“Although they were disappointed in hearing the season was cancelled, they understood and expected this decision,” Artistic Director Paul Stancato said in the release.
“As of today, we are not sure what shows or concerts will be scheduled in 2021,” Stancato said. “There are a lot of details to work out including availability of titles and concert schedules.”
TLP will be working on that schedule over the next few weeks.
Now the regional theater at 8215 Black Oak Road will focus the remainder of the season on its education offerings, which include a wide array of virtual classes held online and on-campus camps and workshops, as well as online performances.
“We are presently working on a concert featuring past TLP artists and a 'TLP Through the Years' featuring clips from past seasons and interviews with artists." Danielowski said..
"TLP will also open an on-line store featuring items from the TLP gift shop."
Subscription holders may exchange their 2020 subscriptions for 2021 subscription.
Concert or show ticketholders can convert their tickets into gift certificates that can be used for anything at TLP including registration for education programs, online purchases from the gift shop, or next year’s tickets and subscriptions. Gift certificates never expire.
Refunds also are available, or unused tickets or subscriptions can be donated back to TLP. Go go www.timberlakeplayhouse.org or call the box office at 815- 244-2035 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through July 17, or find the playhouse on Facebook for more information.
Before the pandemic took hold, though, the 59-year-old summer stock theater was in the midst a 5-year, $1.4 million expansion and upgrade that including winterization, new housing, rehearsal areas, and dining facilities, with the goal of becoming a year-round entertainemnt venue.
Any donations to the cause would be appreciated, especially given the loss of revenue from this year's cancellation.
Donations can be sent to Timber Lake Playhouse, 8215 Black Oak Road, Mount Carroll. IL 61053.